I went through a series of life events that left me depressed and I couldn’t create. Finding the energy just to face the day was exhausting. I was on the edge of hopelessness and often felt as if there was no point in carrying on. I was stuck and felt worthless, like there was nothing I had to offer. My mind, body and soul all needed help, I found help in medication and therapy and slowly began to create again. My soul needed to express itself, I needed to find beauty again, I began to make time and space to be creative. Simply and slowly I found God restoring my soul through creativity. I found there was hope for my creativity and life again. Hope in that I was designed to create. I found freedom in the creative God had made me to be. As I ran to God, and found his nurturing presence I began to seek satisfaction from him alone and then with my creativity, my soul began to flourish.
When we create, if we look long enough we always find something that we are not satisfied with. It is the curse of the artist to never feel as if the work is finished. But this is often the story of life too. We are not satisfied. I’m not sure we are meant to live satisfied. We know that this life is not complete, God’s kingdom is not fully here.
In God we can truly find all that we need. He restores our soul, he restores us when we are broken. Part of the way he does this is through our creativity, as we come alive to who he has made us to be. Our creativity is not only in the things we make with our hands, it is in our choices, it is our freedom. Our creativity is in our imagination and problem solving. It is the fullness, the wholeness of our being and it is in him we find this fullness, wholeness – this satisfaction. When we meet with the satisfaction God provides, when we drink from the living water, the goodness of God overflows, we become over full. This goodness of God flows out into our creativity. As we overflow with the goodness of God, it spills out in praise for how good he is. As we are satisfied in him our creativity flows out as worship to him. The greatest end to our creativity is our worship. Us coming alive to all that God has made us to be is the worship he requires.
Our soul desires value and purpose and belonging but if we look for it from other people, job titles or identity we will always be dissatisfied. This seeking satisfaction for our desires is a kind of worship of self, a seeking for significance, for an assurance that we mean something. We can not face towards these things the world offers and face toward God too. God says you are enough because he made you. God says you are enough because he loves you. God says you are valued enough that he died for you, he gave everything for us. You are valuable, treasured, loved and made in his image. You can live satisfied in your soul. The satisfaction that we seek from the world will never satisfy like God himself.
The beauty and comfort of finding our soul satisfaction in God is that whatever comes our way, it is well with our soul. Whatever life throws at us, God is for us. He holds us steadfast. When we become disillusioned with all that the world says we should want, he shows us another way. He says he is our satisfaction, he is our thirst quencher, he is our source of strength, he is the food for our soul. He is the satisfaction our soul seeks.
God sings over you, his everlasting arms hold you, he delights in you, he loves you unconditionally. Not because of who you are or what you do. He loves you because he made you, he designed you, you will find your soul satisfied in him alone. It is well with your soul.
When we are unsatisfied in life, we remind ourselves that we create, not for the praise, nor the result, not for value, but out of a satisfied soul. Your creative soul can create when you are satisfied in God. With God we know that all is well, all will be well and then we are released to our creativity, which springs out, and overflows as living worship.
Bible verses on satisfaction
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalm 63: 3-5
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalm 42: 1-2
Isaiah 55: 1-3, Jeremiah 31:25, Philippians 4: 12-13.
Your canvas represents that in your true essence – your soul it is beautiful, it is well because you find your soul’s satisfaction in God’s presence.
Materials and equipment
Use an old or thrifted canvas, print, or print a canvas of a favourite photo
template it-is-well.pdf (33 downloads)
Find an old picture or canvas of a landscape or scene of beauty. Or get a favourite photo printed onto a canvas. If you are artistic you could paint a canvas yourself. I found this print in a charity shop in its frame.
If the frame is not to your liking – paint it. I painted the mount and the frame in the same white colour.
If you can brush letter by hand well then you can paint the words ‘it is well’ across the canvas.
If your hand lettering needs lots of practice then this is the easier way!: Either using the “it is well” on page 51, photocopy to the right size for your picture. Or you could print out the words in a typeface that you prefer from your own printer. It will be easier in a script type font where the letters are joined.
Using scissors, cut out the words or letters carefully.
Using a thin layer of spray mount, position the letters on your canvas or picture in place.
Trace around the outline of the words in pencil.
Using a paintbrush, fill in your letters with a paint colour that stands out from the picture.
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